If two years ago, someone told you face masks were going to become the health and fashion must-have of the 2020s, would you have believed them?
Athanasia Katsafanas, freshman government and politics and criminology and criminal justice double major, said that long before the pandemic, she had only seen the widespread use of masks in China as a response to air pollution concerns. “Never did I think they would make their way to the United States, and even more so, have them become a fashion staple,” she added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world and its industries in ways never imagined before. Fashion is no exception. Now, most fashion brands have a face covering in their collections and new mask-selling businesses have emerged.
Among the variety of designs to stay safe, people tend to have their own preferences. Freshman letters and sciences major Evan Mclaughlin said he tends to go for the typical disposable surgical masks. “I like the regular white and blue colored ones,” he said.
Katsafanas said she prefers the cloth ones. “As long as they have adjustable straps. I have a few all black ones, but recently I’ve enjoyed wearing masks with designs and patterns.”
Beyond aesthetics, one must also consider effectiveness when purchasing a face mask. According to the CDC, an effective mask has two or more layers of breathable fabric. Moreover, “Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of [the] face without gaps.”
Check out the following masks below that meet the previously mentioned requirements with style:
Freshman criminal justice major Cristina Urban said she prefers solid-colored, disposable masks because they are more comfortable and less thought goes into matching them with outfits. “I really like solid color masks because they go with a lot more of my clothing” she said.
MASKC is a great match if disposable masks are your go-to. They provide masks in a variety of colors and styles ranging from solid shades to patterns. They also stated on their website that a mask is donated to front-line workers every time a mask is sold.
Their neutral variety pack goes with everything and is rated 5/5 stars on their website. Not to mention, they sell accessories that give your mask more flair. These include gold and pearl mask chains.
The masks from the brand KITSCH have been all over Instagram lately. One of their best-sellers is the “Cotton Face Mask 3pc Set - Blush.” This set includes three masks with trendy colors and patterns. One of them is a light leopard print, the other is pink and blue tie-dye, and the third one is a solid pink.
They also sell other beauty accessories. Their “Full Bloom Mask & Scrunchie Set” makes for a cohesive look as it includes three cotton, neutral colored masks with matching scrunchies.
To complement a minimal, sporty outfit, Adidas has got your back. Their “Face Covers - 3 Pack”are available in black, blue, white and red. The classic Adidas logo is subtly placed on the lower left of the mask. The breathable fabrics are made of 93% recycled polyester and 7% elastane spacer.
Anthropologie was already known for their elegant style in their women’s apparel, accessories, home furniture and décor, and beauty products.
The brand now also sells cloth masks in a variety of styles, from polka dots on cotton to pink satin. However, their most common pattern is floral. The pastel colors and flower designs in their “Lia Reusable Face Masks, Set of 2,” fit the spring season perfectly.
Much more than a fashion staple, the functionality of masks have become ingrained in our lifestyle. “In fact, even after this pandemic has come to end, I still think masks will be part of our culture for a very long time,” Katsafanas said.